Bettina Hoy leads after the dressage in the CCI4* at Luhmühlen, Germany, presented by DHL. Riding her own long-term partner Designer 10 this afternoon (16 June), the German pulled off her customary good tests, with highlights including nines for the mid-test halt and rein-back, the medium walk and her riding.

Ever the perfectionist, Bettina was a touch annoyed with herself for two small mistakes.

“He got a bit behind my aids and lost rhythm for a step in first medium trot,” she said. “And the trot after the transition on the last centre line felt so nice, I went too far. Otherwise it felt really good.”

Bettina’s compatriot, rising star Julia Krajewski, holds second on Samourai Du Thot on 37.1. This pair were third here last year. Today, they received a 10 for their final halt from Nick Burton, the judge at E, and the only weakness in their test was a poor fourth flying change.

“Apart from the last change I’m absolutely happy. He was with me, but had that extra spark,” said Julia. “He really kept himself together. He felt excited coming in, but that gave him the extra lift for the trotwork as he’s not a dressage horse naturally.”

Last night’s leader, Marilyn Little of the USA, holds third on RF Scandalous, with Britain’s Nicola Wilson — second overnight — now fourth on Bulana. The best Brit today was Sarah Bullimore, who slotted into sixth on her own and her husband Brett’s Lilly Corinne on a score of 39.3.

“She makes your job so easy when she’s on side. She’s beautiful but she knows it — she is a prima donna,” said Sarah.

Frenchman Astier Nicolas is 0.2 of a penalty ahead of Sarah in fifth with Carole Broad’s Molakai.

“It was a personal best and a good time to do it,” said Astier. “You hope for that, but it doesn’t come every time. He was consistent all the way through.”

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Bettina also leads the CIC3* Meßmer Trophy with a score of 26.3 on Seigneur Medicott.

The CCI4* cross-country, over a course designed for the first time by Mike Etherington-Smith, starts at 1.09pm local time tomorrow (12.09pm British time).

Check back for regular updates from Luhmühlen over the weekend, plus full report in H&H next week, out Thursday, 22 June.